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Germany’s economic output in the first three months of the year shrank 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, the country’s statistics office said Thursday, tipping the economy into a recession.

Until now, Germany had defied predictions that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and the decoupling from Russian fossil fuels that powered the German economy, would send the country into two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the common definition of a recession. But the economy weakened in late 2022, contracting 0.5 percent. This year, stubbornly high inflation caused consumers to scale back consumption, sending spending down 1.2 percent in the first three months.

“The reluctance of households to buy was apparent in a variety of areas,” the statistics office said. “Households spent less on food and beverages, clothing and footwear, and on furnishings.” They also purchased fewer electric cars, as government incentives were reduced.

Construction workers

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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